Kamloops wildfire fighters are in high demand across Canada, and Thursday they take their skills to Quebec for a two-week deployment to hotspots in the southern part of that province.
“They’re considered Type 1 resources,” said Kayla Pepper, Kamloops Wildfire Centre spokesperson. “They’re trained to the highest level, and that does make them valuable resources across the whole country.”
There are currently 30 fires raging in Quebec, and it’s expected to get worse in the coming days with 30 to 50 more anticipated.
Two Kamloops crews of 20 are heading out to Quebec at 9 a.m. this morning along with two agency representatives and two more division supervisors.
Three more crews of 20 are being deployed from Prince George to Ontario.
The provinces of Quebec and Ontario made the requests through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of resources between B.C. and other jurisdictions.
Crews can be recalled any time should the situation in B.C. require it.
Costs associated with the deployment will be covered by the receiving jurisdictions under the mutual aid resources sharing agreement, which allows for the movement of firefighting resources throughout Canada, according to a provincial press release.
"B.C.'s firefighting crews are among world's best and often provide assistance in Canada and internationally,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests. “When we can make our crews available to other jurisdictions to assist with firefighting efforts, we are proud to do so."